Reasons to be thankful for as a Filipino investor
Last Thursday was Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Although we don’t celebrate this in the Philippines, it is a good time to reflect on all our blessings.
Here are some of the things that I believe we should be thankful for:
Our young population. The median age of Filipinos is at only 23. Thus, the earnings and spending capacity of Filipinos still has significant room to grow, making the Philippines a lucrative market for many businesses looking for ways to boost sales and profits.
Abundance of natural resources. The Philippines has an abundance of natural resources including tourist destinations, which are globally competitive. With the increasing number of flights and improving airport infrastructure, we should see more tourists in the country, helping our dollar revenues grow.
Gender equality. Working in the Philippines, I never really felt discriminated because of being a woman. Even though I am part of the male-dominated finance industry, there have always been opportunities for women who work hard to advance.
Respecting gender equality also has economic benefits. It minimizes the possibility of labor shortage as companies tap a bigger pool of talents. In the finance field, studies show female fund managers outperform their male counterparts. Studies also show that companies with women board members perform better in terms of profitability or return on equity.
Growing government spending. Despite all the criticisms, I am quite thankful that our government is currently able to spend more on services and infrastructure.
During the third quarter, our gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 6.1 percent from the 6.2 percent the previous quarter. The slowdown would have been more significant if not for the 14.3-percent increase in government spending. Reforms during the past few years have resulted in higher tax revenues, lower debt levels and lower interest rates. These in turn strengthened our country’s finances, allowing the government to spend more on service and infrastructure.
Rapid economic growth. Even though our third quarter growth story was not the best, it marked one of the fastest growths globally. I am also quite confident that a growth of at least 6 percent is something the Philippines can sustain in the next few years.
Because of our numerous blessings as Filipino investors, I’m quite confident the stock market will eventually recover despite a currently prevailing weakness. I don’t think we will suffer the same fate as other markets (such as Japan) which went through multiyear bear markets.
We are only suffering from a cyclical weakness in a secular bull market. This makes me most thankful as a Filipino investor. Happy Thanksgiving!
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